• Leftover Women

    Leftover Women

    Chinese women and burden of marriage.

    Posted by on Sunday, July 15, 2012

    Only after many late night conversations with female friends have I slowly begun to grasp the heavy and consuming burden that young women must face in metropolitan cities throughout China.

    The concept of a shengnü or “leftover woman” is a fairly recent phenomenon in Chinese society. The term refers to single women, over thirty, who live in large cities and are often highly educated and well salaried.
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  • The Rape of Europa

    Don’t Be A Dick

    Fenwick Smith's foreign policy.

    Posted by on Monday, June 4, 2012

    Last week, when my doorbell rang at the optimum moment between my boyfriend leaving for work and me leaving for work—a thirty minute gap that seems to be the only time my local police station does any work—I knew who would be waiting even before I wrenched the reinforced steel door open.

    I had my passport, foreign expert certificate and residence permit all primed and ready in a nearby drawer.
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  • Photo © Rian Dundon


    Images from the provincial capital.

    Posted by on Thursday, May 10, 2012

    Rian Dundon, an American photographer who lived in China for 6 years, is trying to fund a new book of photography called Changsha.

    He is currently fundraising through Emphas.is, which is like Kickstarter for photojournalism. There's a month left to support the project. We talked over e-mail about his upcoming book.
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  • Manufacturing #10A (detail) by Edward Burtynsky

    Yet Another Mike Daisey Piece

    A few words on Daisey, truth, beauty, and bitterness.

    Posted by on Thursday, April 12, 2012

    Daisey creating a situation where he shares a real human moment with his interpreter and he touches her hand seems not that problematic—that’s drama. But Daisey claiming to speak to Chinese workers who suffered hexane poisoning, or claiming to have met with secret union workers in clandestine Starbucks meetings seems far more problematic. Why?
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  • Photo © This American Life

    Glass Houses

    On the hypocrisy of This American Life.

    Posted by on Monday, April 2, 2012

    I also found it extremely difficult to listen to the "Retraction" episode of This American Life. I could not even listen to the whole episode—I had to read the transcript. The only way I could have relieved the fury building up inside me, as I listened to that podcast, would have been to slap Ira Glass across the face. I have never heard such sanctimonious, self-serving hypocrisy in my life—not from someone I respect.

    I am going to tell you some things that may shock you.
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Mamma Mia!

Open Letter to Chinese Theatergoers

Dear China,
I’m sorry. You are the newest victim of the smash hit Broadway musical Mamma Mia! But hey, it won’t be that bad.
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Front page news

And on the Seventh Day News Rested

In China, the seventh day after a death is an important day of mourning. But a week after the Wenzhou train collision, the only thing citizens can mourn is the truth.
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Photo © Ian Koh from Flickr

Getting the In-Laws Out

"I adored my boyfriend’s parents. Until they came to stay with us. Again and again and again." Have problems with your in-laws? In China it's worse.
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Fatima Buntinx in The Bad Intentions

57: The Bad Intentions (Las Malas Intenciones) (LAFF 2011)

Rosario Garcia-Montero captures a portrait of troubled childhood in bloody 1980s Peru.
Somewhere Between

56: Somewhere Between (LAFF 2011)

Linda Goldstein Knowlton follows a quartet of girls whose identities are located somewhere between China and America.
Please Do Not Disturb

55: Please Do Not Disturb (LAFF 2011)

Mohsen Abdolvahab's triptych about the contradictions of contemporary life in Tehran.
Marc Dreier in Unraveled

54: Unraveled (LAFF 2011)

This documentary follows Marc Dreier, a corporate lawyer who committed large-scale fraud, in the sixty days of house arrest between his trial and the sentencing.